By Leo Shane III, Stars and StripesOnline edition,
Thursday, September 17, 2009
WASHINGTON – Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Wednesday he’s frustrated and disappointed with the slow pace of treatments for post-traumatic stress and other “unseen” combat injuries, saying after eight years of war military officials should have better answers.
“Shame on us if we don’t figure this out in time,” he told a crowd of military and veterans officials. “We need to find a way to avoid another generation of homeless veterans.”
Mullen’s comments set the tone for a day of debate among mental health experts and military leaders at the Military Officers Association of America’s annual defense forum. The chairman said that while millions of dollars have been invested into research on PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and mental health issues, military leaders have not produced enough treatment options and outreach programs to stay ahead of the problems.
“We owe them a response,” he said. “This is a debt the country owes [these troops] for their service, as far as I’m concerned. It needs to be the first check we write.”
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